From Alberta to Italy, in recovery

Grazie by Lucia Frangione  Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $21.95  / 9781772015089  Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Lucia Frangione’s debut novel, Grazie, captures how loss devastates the main character, Graziana or Grazie, who has mostly given up on life, even though she has a seven-year-old daughter, Hazel. The child desperately needs someone to notice and take care…
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‘Trek by father and son’

The Boy and the Mountain: A Father, His Son, and a Journey of Discovery  By Torbjørn Ekelund (Translated by Becky L. Crook) Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023 $27.95  /  9781771645096 Reviewed by Ron Dart * The Boy and the Mountain was originally published in Norwegian in 2017 and translated into English in 2023. Ekelund has, thus…
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1975 Ghoulish K-pop teen horror!!

Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng New York: MacMillan/Roaring Brook Press, 2023 $26.99 / 9781250864994 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * All that glitters is likelier ghoul than gold in Linda Cheng’s K-pop-inspired debut novel, Gorgeous Gruesome Faces.  Cheng was born in Taiwan, though much of her adolescence was spent moving between different cultures and continents….
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1974 Marathon man like no other

Outsider: An Old Man, a Mountain and the Search for a Hidden Past by Brett Popplewell  Toronto: Harper Collins, 2023 $25.99 / 9781443457859 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * British Columbia has long been a magnet for eccentric new settlers with mysterious backgrounds who come here seeking to reinvent themselves. Thanks to an investigative journalist from Ontario,…
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1972 Make injection sites, not criminals

Decrim: How We Decriminalized Drugs in British Columbia by Kennedy Stewart Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776304 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Former Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks from political experience when he describes the struggle to have hard drugs like heroin and cocaine decriminalized in Canada’s third largest city. He also speaks…
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1971 ‘Her new painterly expression’

A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $59.95  /  9781772014747 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb, edited by Stephen Collis, is a sumptious presentation of Phyllis Webb’s visual output, accompanied…
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Simon Fraser University, circa 1970, designed by Arthur Erickson. Courtesy HipPostcard

1970 Calling Graduate Liberal Studies

Attention students in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University! * Since 2018, students in the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University have contributed numerous essays, memoirs, poems, and book reviews to The British Columbia Review. We at the BC Review are delighted to maintain a productive collaboration with the GLS community, as…
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1969 Advice to a teen girl

Skid Dogs by Emelia Symington-Fedy Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $26.95  /  9781771623643 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * You know a book is both meant for you as a reader and well-written when you feel regular twinges of discomfiting self-recognition as the story sinks into your blood. I can’t remember the last time I…
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1965 The shame of 1907

White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver by Henry Tsang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $32.95  /  9781551529196 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Many British Columbians will have heard of the Vancouver anti-Asian riots of 1907. It was a brutal historic event that revealed deep-seated public prejudices fueled by paranoia about the province being…
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1964 Literary thriller, ‘by all accounts … thrilling’

Uncontrolled Flight by Frances Peck Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2023 $25.95 / 9781774390757 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Frances Peck has once again written a story that will grip British Columbian’s fears and hearts. Her debut novel, The Broken Places, envisioned fall-out from the big earthquake predicted to hit the Vancouver area. Uncontrolled Flight’s catalyst is…
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1963 A quest for Champions

Tracking Giants: Big Trees, Tiny Triumphs, and Misadventures in the Forest by Amanda Lewis Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023 $24.95  /  781771646734 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * As I write from our province’s southern Interior, amidst the worst air quality in the world, I find I must state the obvious. The lessons Amanda Lewis accrues in…
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1961 Illustrating logging camp life

The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge – A Humorous Look at Coastal Loggers Float-camp Life from the 1920s to 1950s by Mike Whalen Self-published by Mike Whalen, 2023 $40.00 (soft cover)  /  978173885723 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * Inspired by the cartoon collection from which it draws its name, The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge is…
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